Boing Boing 

The War Against Silence is

The War Against Silence is a weekly music review that's been running for nearly seven years now -- the prose is lyrical and the insights are terrific.
On the good nights, or at least, the reassuring nights, everybody knows her, and they gather in unnervingly intent arcs in front of her instruments, forming her words with their own mouths as she sings them, shouting requests in the breaks for songs she hasn't even finished writing yet. So the departure myths are easy enough to compose. She reaches the highway, once again, as if setting out on the next stage of a noble embassy, carrying some flickering torch from basin to basin. Gypsy tinkers would hang cups and plates off the outside of their carts so they'd rattle, informatively, as they pulled into town; maybe she should keep her guitar in an open tuning, bungeed to the roof rack, so that the interstate air could play it like an Aeolian harp, and as she came down off the exit ramps, and wove through these cities on the way to her tiny cafes and bookstores, people who need music would hear her pass, put down whatever they were doing, and bring their souls to her for renewal.
Link Discuss (Thanks, Fred!)

Here's my latest rant, a

Here's my latest rant, a piece aimed at exhorting writers to align themselves with people who break the encryption on e-books instead of the people who prosecute them.
How, then, do we earn our living off of our work? When publishing inevitably includes an electronic edition, when unprotected copies of our work circulate freely, how do we compel readers to pay for our time and so keep a roof over our heads?

There are a couple possibilities: The first, of course, is that we can't. The world doesn't owe us a living. This may even serve copyright's goal -- the production of lots of creative material. After all, the vast majority of science fiction writers *don't* earn a living writing, but they do it anyway. Demanding recompense for your work when no one is willing to pay for it is rarely a productive strategy -- just ask a squeegee kid. It's possible that eliminating recompense for writing will barely affect the volume of material available: the fact that science fiction magazines are still drowning in great story submissions while paying the same word rates they offered in the 1930s sure suggests this.

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A followup to the Dilbert

A followup to the Dilbert Cubicle I posted a couple days back: A CNN interview with Fred Dust, the lead designer on the project. Link Discuss (Thanks, Scott!)

Disney launches an Internet casino,

Disney launches an Internet casino, using a loophole in gaming regs that lets them run it Stateside. Link Discuss (via Meerkat)

Is this the next Dmitry?

Is this the next Dmitry? An anonymous programmer has cracked the Digital Rights Management on Microsoft's MS Reader ebooks. Link Discuss (via Meerkat)

Here's a novel way to

Here's a novel way to commit felony harrassment: Kill an alligator, dress it up like a Federal Wildlife Marshall, put a Marshall's nametag on its jacket and leave it where it'll be discovered by tourists. Link Discuss (via Exciting Monkeybum Stories for Boys and Girls)

A Chinese paper is reporting

A Chinese paper is reporting that Disney is building a themepark in Beijing to coincide with the 2008 Olympics. Since I just sold a science fiction novel where one of the major plot points revolves around the construction of a Disney park in Beijing in 500 years or so, this kinda depresses me. Link Discuss (Thanks, Stefan and Pat!)

The Wombles of Wimbleton Common

The Wombles of Wimbleton Common were a terrific British kids' show (though I later read and fell in love with Michael DeLarabetti's Borribles books, and realized how terribly saccharine the Wombles really were). Here's a link to the Wombles' songs, which are funny and British as all get out. Link Discuss (Thanks, Suzanne!)

23 days later, I have

23 days later, I have a new iBook. The wrong iBook. One with a 10GB drive. My old iBook -- not so old! less than 60 days old when it broke! -- had a 20GB drive. Goddamn! What the hell does it take to get a repair or replacement out of Apple? Discuss

Chilling Salon story documents the

Chilling Salon story documents the plight of a hapless journo who wrote an article that documented the history of the Ringling Brothers' Circus and ended up the victim of a campaign of harassment orchestrated by an ex-CIA spook in the circus's employ.
Get dirt on her, he said. Ruin her professionally ... and why not personally, too? Perhaps they could recruit "a bodybuilder type" to seduce her and wreck her marriage, he told his sidekick, vice-president Charles Smith, according to depositions that would later be filed in court. Nothing's out of bounds. Spread rumors. Throw dirt. Report back to me personally on your progress right away, Feld was reported as saying. And for as long as it takes.
Link Discuss

This amazing and disturbing map

This amazing and disturbing map shows graphs the worldwide signs of global climate change from early spring arrivals to riding sealevels to disease outbreaks. Link Discuss (via Memepool)

The military applications for P2P

The military applications for P2P are stunning. O'Reilly Networks' Richard Koman interviews the Chief Scientist and Technical Director for the U.S. Army Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Command, and gets an earful.
Koman: Back to peer to peer -- does it seem ironic at all that you're applying some of the concepts that come from some of these services that are fairly subversive at least as far as the recording industry is concerned. You know, Napster-style ideas applied to military technology.

Macedonia: I don't think it's subversive. The only interesting thing about Napster was that they came up with a really good scheme for sharing music. I mean this subversive thing is just in terms of the way that the RIAA or the MPAA looks at this technology and sees it as a threat to IP rights.

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Boyoboyboy is this cool. By

Boyoboyboy is this cool. By sending malformed packets to random computers on the Internet, you can distribute a large (think SET@home, distributed.net) problem and get solutions in the checksums that the computers send back. The implications of this are mind-croggling: You can use a Denial of Service attack to do protein folding to discover a cure for AIDS. Link Discuss (via /.)

Now this is Reality TV

Now this is Reality TV -- eBay is working on a TV series that'll be a cross between "Antiques Roadshow" and "Real People." Link Discuss (via Blather)

Amazing corporate history of Lego,

Amazing corporate history of Lego, and the turbulent times it finds itself in ever since it started licensing Star Wars characters and settings and moved from free-form play to kits. Link Discuss (via /.)

There's a Smoking Gun book

There's a Smoking Gun book coming out! These guys are more consistently funny than The Onion, if you ask me. Link Discuss (via kottke.org)

The world's governments are legislating

The world's governments are legislating the use of Open Source software in state agencies and corporations. Link Discuss (via MeFi)

Disney World attendance is slumping,

Disney World attendance is slumping, and they're betting on the "100 Years of Disney" celebration to bring out-of-state guests down to the park. Wish they'd just build more rides. Link Discuss (via Exciting Monkeybum Stories for Boys and Girls)

Ray Bradbury's stuff is being

Ray Bradbury's stuff is being optioned up by Hollyweird at speed, so Salon did an interview with him. He comes off as old and somewhat irrelevant unfortunately, having nothing of note to say about the tremendous changes wrought by the Internet in the popcult, social and economic landscape. It's kinda sad that the author of "Sound of Thunder" can't distinguish between a pinball machine and an immersive massively multiplayer videogame. Link Discuss

"We don't want a lot

"We don't want a lot of toothless astronauts returning to Earth" -- a government dentist predicts that a round-trip to Mars would seriously eff with your smile. Link Discuss

Now, this is one distopian

Now, this is one distopian technology! Eyeblaster is an advertising product that turns your ads into floating animations that roam the window, obscuring text, making obnoxious noise, etc. The Space Merchants, anyone? Link Discuss (Thanks, Dennis!)

Chicago is cementing its position

Chicago is cementing its position as literary rainmaker. First there was Oprah's book-club, which can turn writers into millionaires overnight. Now the city fathers are asking every man, woman and teenager to read To Kill a Mockingbird simultaneously, and so encourage Chicagoans to talk about something besides Internet porn and the life and times of Friends. Harper Lee's estate is in for some big bucks. Link Discuss (via Exciting Monkeybum Stories for Boys and Girls)

My iBook is somewhere in

My iBook is somewhere in San Francisco. You can bet that I'll be reloading this FedEx tracking page obsessively every five minutes from now until my doorbell rings. Three weeks! Three weeks! Jesus. Link Discuss

The rise and fall of

The rise and fall of Boo.com, the archetype of dotcom excess, is being made into a Hollywood blockbuster, potentially starring Ed Norton and Cameron Diaz. Link Discuss (via MeFi)

If you get a parking

If you get a parking ticket in Lewiston, Maine, you can get amnesty on the $5 fine by writing a letter of apology to the police. Here are seven apologias from seven different parking violators. Link Discuss (via Megosteve)

A tale of two copyright

A tale of two copyright laws. The first, proposed by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, D-S.C., would require electronics manufacturers to build copy-protection tools into their gear (!).The second, sponsored by Reps. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Chris Cannon, R-Utah, would require copy-protection schemes to provide for the capability of home backup and copies for personal use. Can you guess which one I'm rooting for? Link Discuss (via Meerkat)

Dumbass NYT story on the

Dumbass NYT story on the failure of the ebook market to materialize. Paragraph after paragraph, and not a whisper about the enormous, grassroots ebook-filetrading network centered around #bookwarez, alt.binaries.e-books and Gnutella. The reporter doesn't even stop to wonder if the problem is the limited selection and the limited freedom that commercial ebook ventures afford -- i.e., I can't get what I'm looking for, and if I can, I can't read it on my Visor or my Mac or whatever because of the dumbass DRM. Link Discuss (via Meerkat)

Hey, if anyone's keeping track:

Hey, if anyone's keeping track: my replacement iBook still isn't here, 21 days after Apple received my defective, 45-day-old machine for repair or exchange. Aw, crap. Discuss

Dmitry's boss is going to

Dmitry's boss is going to Amsterdam to deliver the infamous e-book-security presentation, far from the barbaric DMCA. Link Discuss

Further reports from Burning Man

Further reports from Burning Man by Paul Boutin. Today, Paul writes in about the makeshift powergrid on the Playa. Link Discuss